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Rangers Power Play Leads to Comeback Win Against Blue Jackets

Blueshirts extend season-high win streak to four

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

The comeback kids were at it again Monday night, as the Rangers erased two separate deficits, including a two-goal hole in the second, to top the Blue Jackets, 5-3, and extend their winning streak to four games.

New York scored three power play goals in the third period, including Pavel Buchnevich's game-winner at 11:27, to erase a one-goal deficit in a game they had previously trailed by two.

In total, the Blueshirts' power play struck three times in the third, finishing an impressive 3-for-5 on the night, led by Mika Zibanejad's three power play assists that established a career-high.

"We've talked about getting those big goals from the power play," Zibanejad said. "We were able to do that again today like we did against Vegas. We've got to find a way to keep going."

Video: CBJ@NYR: Buchnevich buries one-timer for PPG

The power play is hot, and a big contributor to that is the fact that contributions are coming from nearly everyone involved. Chris Kreider and Kevin Shattenkirk had goals with the man-advantage tonight, while Mats Zuccarello added an assist. 

"I think both units, not just for our unit, I think both units are doing a good job," Zibanejad said. "Luckily we've been getting a few goals here at the end. I think to show them different threats, to not be one-trick ponies on the power play, I think that's important. I think using the players we have on the power play. We've been doing a good job of that."

Like Zibanejad, Shattenkirk said it's the threat of every member of the power play being a potential difference maker that makes it hard for the opposition to stop.

"I'm getting a lot of clear lanes because everyone's shielding over to Mika because he's such a threat," said Shattenkirk, who extended his point streak to five games. "It's important that I'm chipping in and getting my shots through because at that point they're going to have to pick someone."

Video: CBJ@NYR: Shattenkirk wires in PPG from the point

After a scoreless first period that was largely controlled by the home team, it was the visitors that came out firing in the middle frame when Artemi Panarin opened the scoring just 38 seconds into the period. Josh Anderson doubled Columbus' lead at 4:24 with a low wrist shot that beat Henrik Lundqvist stick side.

Michael Grabner scored his first of the night at 12:41 of the second to get the Rangers offense going. It was Grabner's fifth goal in his last six games.

Then the Rangers' power play went to work. Shattenkirk's third goal in two games evened the score 5:10 into the third, and while Oliver Bjorkstrand put Columbus back on top just 2:51 later, New York was undeterred. 

Video: CBJ@NYR: Kreider buries rebound in front for PPG

Kreider answered with his fifth goal of the season to even the score just 2:39 later when he buried a loose puck just outside the crease after Buchnevich's shot was knocked down by Ryan Murray to tie the game at 3.

Buchnevich's winner came off a backhand feed from Zibanejad through the slot, and all Buchnevich had to do was hit the back of the net. It was No. 89's first NHL game-winner and his fifth goal in his last five contests.

Grabner iced the game with an empty-net goal with 48.8 remaining.

Lundqvist improved to 6-4-2 on the season. He praised the team's ability to once again overcome a deficit on its way to two points, thanks in large part to the power play.

"This is not the first game we battled back. I think it's a character thing," said Lundqvist, who made 22 saves. "That's extremely important to have. Guys were determined to come back in this game. There's no question why we won this game: the power play stepped up big time for us."

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